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A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?

kinderfolk 10 Jul 00 - 06:44 PM
wysiwyg 10 Jul 00 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Hilary in NZ 10 Jul 00 - 07:00 PM
catspaw49 10 Jul 00 - 07:06 PM
kendall 10 Jul 00 - 07:23 PM
Pene Azul 10 Jul 00 - 07:24 PM
GUEST,junebug 10 Jul 00 - 07:25 PM
dwditty 10 Jul 00 - 07:26 PM
catspaw49 10 Jul 00 - 07:34 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 10 Jul 00 - 07:34 PM
Jon Freeman 10 Jul 00 - 07:37 PM
Amergin 10 Jul 00 - 07:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jul 00 - 07:44 PM
Liz the Squeak 10 Jul 00 - 07:48 PM
Sorcha 10 Jul 00 - 07:54 PM
kendall 10 Jul 00 - 08:05 PM
Mrrzy 10 Jul 00 - 08:13 PM
catspaw49 10 Jul 00 - 08:13 PM
Mrrzy 10 Jul 00 - 08:15 PM
MMario 10 Jul 00 - 08:16 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 00 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,Intrigued 10 Jul 00 - 08:33 PM
Mrrzy 10 Jul 00 - 08:39 PM
Mrrzy 10 Jul 00 - 08:43 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 00 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,Barry Finn 10 Jul 00 - 08:46 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 00 - 08:51 PM
Greg F. 10 Jul 00 - 08:54 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 00 - 09:12 PM
bbelle 10 Jul 00 - 09:13 PM
DougR 10 Jul 00 - 09:17 PM
GUEST,Snanderbatch 10 Jul 00 - 09:41 PM
catspaw49 10 Jul 00 - 09:53 PM
kendall 10 Jul 00 - 09:59 PM
GUEST,Edgar Cayce 10 Jul 00 - 09:59 PM
Amergin 10 Jul 00 - 09:59 PM
GUEST,Joerg 10 Jul 00 - 10:16 PM
WyoWoman 10 Jul 00 - 10:35 PM
GUEST,Barry Finn 10 Jul 00 - 10:46 PM
catspaw49 10 Jul 00 - 10:48 PM
katlaughing 11 Jul 00 - 12:39 AM
DougR 11 Jul 00 - 12:51 AM
GUEST 11 Jul 00 - 12:58 AM
PoohBear 11 Jul 00 - 01:28 AM
The Shambles 11 Jul 00 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,JulieF 11 Jul 00 - 06:17 AM
Jon Freeman 11 Jul 00 - 10:24 AM
Bagpuss 11 Jul 00 - 10:32 AM
L R Mole 11 Jul 00 - 10:42 AM
Mbo 11 Jul 00 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,Marymac, sans cookie 11 Jul 00 - 11:20 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 11 Jul 00 - 11:30 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 11 Jul 00 - 11:33 AM
Catrin 11 Jul 00 - 11:36 AM
Peter T. 11 Jul 00 - 11:39 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jul 00 - 01:15 PM
The Shambles 11 Jul 00 - 01:18 PM
Bert 11 Jul 00 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,I guess 11 Jul 00 - 02:57 PM
WillH 11 Jul 00 - 03:21 PM
Dee45 11 Jul 00 - 03:28 PM
katlaughing 11 Jul 00 - 03:32 PM
Mudjack 11 Jul 00 - 04:02 PM
Rick Fielding 11 Jul 00 - 06:34 PM
Jeri 11 Jul 00 - 07:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jul 00 - 08:27 PM
catspaw49 11 Jul 00 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,Joerg 11 Jul 00 - 11:11 PM
dick greenhaus 11 Jul 00 - 11:18 PM
Jon Freeman 11 Jul 00 - 11:21 PM
The Shambles 12 Jul 00 - 04:11 AM
Wolfgang 12 Jul 00 - 09:29 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 12 Jul 00 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,Mrr 12 Jul 00 - 12:27 PM
Jon Freeman 12 Jul 00 - 12:59 PM
The Shambles 15 Jul 00 - 05:20 AM
Joe Offer 15 Jul 00 - 05:30 AM
GUEST,the 15 Jul 00 - 07:41 AM
The Shambles 16 Jul 00 - 05:09 AM
GutBucketeer 28 Jul 00 - 08:57 AM
katlaughing 28 Jul 00 - 09:23 AM
bbelle 28 Jul 00 - 09:59 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 28 Jul 00 - 10:26 AM
Sean Belt 28 Jul 00 - 10:26 AM
Jeri 28 Jul 00 - 11:19 AM
Amergin 28 Jul 00 - 11:35 AM
DougR 28 Jul 00 - 11:49 AM
Midchuck 28 Jul 00 - 12:02 PM
IvanB 28 Jul 00 - 12:02 PM
Jon Freeman 28 Jul 00 - 12:30 PM
rangeroger 28 Jul 00 - 02:01 PM
sophocleese 28 Jul 00 - 02:14 PM
Mike Regenstreif 28 Jul 00 - 04:45 PM
GutBucketeer 28 Jul 00 - 06:12 PM
DougR 29 Jul 00 - 12:45 AM
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Subject: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: kinderfolk
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 06:44 PM

Dear Mudcatters,

With all of the guest postings and the obvious negative effects and intentions, is it time for this site to become a membership only site?

I hardly ever post, yet I feel I've come to know many of you. I admire how free and open you are. It is obvious that one of you has hurt another, a woman Mudcat, very badly.

If everyone was allowed only one membership name to post under, maybe the kind of dishonesty and meanness we are seeing right now would be prevented.

Well, anyway, thank you. It is just a suggestion.

kinderfolk


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 06:58 PM

kf--

Although I am still pretty new here, I can tell you that this has been an ongoing debate which usually winds up on the side of free access and self-policing.

The ugly stuff usually dies down pretty quickly, and REALLY ugly stuff is actually more laughable than truly painful-- at least when I and some of my pals have had our turn, this is how we have seemed to feel.

I think most everyone here has many more good experiences here than bad ones. It can be hard to keep one's attention on that when the stuff is running freely (and downhill), but it does always come back up to a lovely level again. Some people will say that the good old days were much better and are gone forever, and maybe that is so. But we each have an opportunity to make a whole new "GOOD-NOW-DAYS" season at the Mudcat. And, like the rest of life, that's about the best we humans can manage, eh?

So I hope you will post oftener and keep posting, which is a way you can do your part to make this a good place for all.

~S~


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GUEST,Hilary in NZ
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 07:00 PM

I am really surprised this has not been suggested earlier. I'm posting this from the point of view of both a guest and a new mudcatter. I would understand completely if it became membership only as I am always amazed how easy it is to get involved and contribute, but I would also be sad for that same reason. I like to be able to just pop in anytime, but I go away, or get busy and I feel a membership would make it more compulsive.
Yes, I have mudcat addiction phobia.
Which is why I stay a guest. By the way - I think all these controversial threads are just the greatest - I sit here and shake with the giggles. If people are going to get personal, why don't they use the personal messages system???
This is another reason I don't want to become a "member" with all the trimmings...I want my mudcatting to just stay as access to a wonderful resource with the added bonus of erudite/insane chat.
I have enough relationship issues in real life without creating more in cyberspace.
luv ya all
Hilary


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 07:06 PM

No kinderfolk.... The Catter in question is OK and restricting the joint simply stops many new folks from making requests. We put way too much emphasis on the crap and not nearly enough on the good stuff, probably because we take the good stuff for granted. We've been through worse and we'll go through worse yet....but its been really fine lately til we stumbled up here a bit. Let's keep it an open friendly place and try not to go off on any paranoid ramblings as some have done. I did it myself at one point until I realized what a time waster it was.

Post some of that good stuff we generally hear from you and let's all lighten up.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 07:23 PM

I dont see how just being a member will do away with the flammers. If they use a pseudonym, you dont know who they are anyway (Gargoyl for instance) I could come on as Bandersnatch and get real nasty, and who would know who I really am?


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Pene Azul
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 07:24 PM

Absolutely Spaw. Lets bury that nasty stuff with positivity. We have plenty of it here. Let's see some more, folks.

PA


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GUEST,junebug
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 07:25 PM

I did join mudcat with the handle JB3 a couple of years ago, but have since changed computers. I had fears of all sorts from someone finding and stalking me, to I don't know what! But I've since felt that I could give my full name and I often have. I should find out how to get my screen name back (actually, I'd like to change it to junebug) but I haven't bothered. I'm an infrequent visitor these days, altho I am always delighted when I'm able to get here. Allowing guests also lets me post to the forum when out of town and on my mom's computer, as I'm doing now.

June Burton


June - I sent instructions by e-mail to the address on your Mudcat registration. If you don't get it, click on my name below to send me e-mail.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: dwditty
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 07:26 PM

Since "membership" consists only of saying "make me a member" (and choosing a name), I don't see a whole hell of a lot of reason to make a distinction between members and non-members. The few guests who stop by to try to raise a ruckus usually leave pretty quickly anyway, Those that stay, become members whether they actually sign up or just fit in by their presence and their willingness to become part of this.
dw


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 07:34 PM

Hey Junebug......Were you around Berea during the days of Ethel Capps? I seem to recall you did some Christmas dances you mentioned once here.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 07:34 PM

There are many good points raised for and against membership. I think a change in format would discourage new members from gaining an interest in folk and blues music. Since we want to encourage that, I am generally against making it a members only club. Spaw is a venerable member and I support his position. On the negative side, I would appeal to Max to moderate on occasion; and to try and identify and stop those who post in an offensive manner. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 07:37 PM

Kendall, an example would be a paid membership and to require a user name and password to enter this site. Using a system like that coupled with strict moderation would probably cut out all the nastiness but IMO, it would also be the death of the Mudcat that most of us love.

Any public forum is going to have problems from time to time but Mudcat is IMO as good as you can possibly get for an open forum. As others have suggested, let's just enjoy it for its good points of which there are many.

Jon


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Amergin
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 07:37 PM

I don't like the idea of making this an exclusive place, this is like a city, folks come here to learn, play, make friends, whatever... If you start gating it, it will only to serve to isolate us, not bring us together like it's meant to.

BTW, Kendall, if we see some one by the name of Bandersnatch, we'll know who it is now, won't we? ;)

Amergin


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 07:44 PM

Being a member doesn't mean you have to come here more often, hilary; and if you don't want personal messages, just don't open them up. All right you might get curious -"you have 15 active messages" - hard to resist having a quick look.

But it's handy being able to put a trace on a threread you're interested, and there's other useful features.

And it means noone else is ever going to be able to post in your name (unless they sneak into your computer of course).

Mudcat addiction, for all we joke about it, is potentially a real problem. But I can't see how it makes any difference whether you're a member or not.

I don't think making it members only would eliminate the sort of non-members we'd be better off without. All you need to register is to have an email address, and you can get them as easy as writing on a wall. A membership only policy could well end up making it worse - and as has been pointed out, for all the occasional crap, this is a pretty good set-up we've got here.

Maybe the only people we'd lose with members only would be the people dipping their toe in the water because they just think they might like this kind of music, and we don't want to lose them. And we'd probably also lose some non-member-members like hilary.

Anyway, it's not going to happen, because the good guys in charge won't have it. This ain't no bourgeois democracy, after all!


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 07:48 PM

Hey, one of the main reasons I post to this site, is that it doesn't cost me anything to do it, or register, or join or any of that other stuff. If having a good time means you have to pay for it, it pretty soon stops being a good time.... Not everyone has the bottomless purses and wallets that some might have. And if I had to pay, I might be here a lot less.

LTS who would prefer to forgo the 'well that's one good reason for charging' messages, OK?!


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 07:54 PM

Besides all the above points, most of us know that it is usually a member posting as a Guest that causes the nastiness. Also, it is so easy to get additional e mail addresses that one person could be 5 or 6 different members. One through the regular ISP, one on hotmail, one on aol, etc. that there really is no point in a members only policy. Let's just be grown ups, and deal with it.
(And Bandersnatch, just look out, will ya? No snatching banders on the Mudcat!)

OK, this is submit number who knows, I hope they don't all show up. I have had a devil of a time submitting posts all day..........


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:05 PM

Dont worry, I'm not the type to hide behind a pseudonym. And, stalking me would not be a very smart thing to do!!


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:13 PM

I hung around as Guest before joining, and I still post as Guest (but add Mrr) from work because I delete all my cookies so our Internet cops will at least have to use sophisticated ways to tell where I go while AT work. (Which is the Mudcat at least three times a day, generally morning break, lunchbreak, and afternoon break. The fact that I stay about 2 hours each time is a separate thing...) - Were this club to become MO, I wouldn't be able to hang out here from work... which my employer might not mind, but I'm the bloody member! And the several who pointed out that anyone can become a member at the drop of an @ also make the excellent point that therefore, there is no point in restricting membership anyway.

And I posted as Guest (without the Mrr) once by mistake, and once to ask an etiquette question. I concealed my identity in that instance to avoid embarrassing someone whom I like and respect, and I was glad I had when I got my answer.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:13 PM

Don't worry Sorch....Kendall ain't been able to band a snatch or do anything else with one in a coon's age.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:15 PM

I hung around as Guest before joining, and I still post as Guest (but add Mrr) from work because I delete all my cookies so our Internet cops will at least have to use sophisticated ways to tell where I go while AT work. (Which is the Mudcat at least three times a day, generally morning break, lunchbreak, and afternoon break. The fact that I stay about 2 hours each time is a separate thing...) - Were this club to become MO, I wouldn't be able to hang out here from work... which my employer might not mind, but I'm the bloody member! And the several who pointed out that anyone can become a member at the drop of an @ also make the excellent point that therefore, there is no point in restricting membership anyway.

And I posted as Guest (without the Mrr) once by mistake, and once to ask an etiquette question. I concealed my identity in that instance to avoid embarrassing someone whom I like and respect, and I was glad I had when I got my answer.

This part might be here once, and might be different from the above if this posts twice; I hit Cancel. Anyway, what I wanted to add is this: Making this club MO would eliminate the possibility of hiding one's identity for reasons of hearts of gold, as well as for nefarious purposes. And the nefarious can always create new nicknames, why not violate another Mudcat "law" while they are at it, since it is nefarious by definition?


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: MMario
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:16 PM

Not to mention the fact that a lot of guests drop by to look for information and/or ask questions. That is an important function of the 'cat.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:24 PM

Hey, do you guys realize how much time Pene and I spend on cookie resets? If cookies were requeired, you guys would drive us crazier than we are already!
But the main reason I'd hate to see required membership is that it would make visitors hesitate to post a question, and posting questions and posting lyrics are the original purposes of this Forum. All the other stuff is nice, but it came later.

Hmmm. I see that I am Member Number 62. Made me wonder how 61 people got here before me. Then I figured out that most of the numbers are blank before Peter T's #58. I didn't check ALL the numbers, but the only number I could find earlier than Peter's is Max. Heck, even Dick & Susan registered after Peter and I did.
As far as I can determine, Max didn't institute cookies until August, 1997. Many of us regulars were here long before that, including Dick & Susan, BillD, PeterT, and Gargoyle. The Forum began October 1, 1996, I believe.
Click here and here for threads that may be of historic interest, some day in the distant future.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GUEST,Intrigued
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:33 PM

Now, I realize I'm only one of those illegal-alien, lower-order-of-humanity, a-nonny-mouse GUEST types, the object of the current xenophobic hysteria here, and therefore to be (chose one or more): 1.ignored; 2.shunned; 3.suspected; 4.interned; 5.assimilated (resistance is futile!)...(see also various "VOW" threads, below)

[By the way- are any of us really what we pretend to be? Whoops, that's a whole existential thread in itself- any takers?]

But have you noticed that a good number- say seven out of ten?- of the threads that provoke the responses you claim to deplore are initiated by hallowed "Members" of the Almighty 'Cat? Conrad #1 Pissant as a shining example? Could the fault be not in your Guests, but in Yourselves? Or perhaps you should begin by taking the beam out of your own 'Cat's-eye; Praise could help you with that, I suspect.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:39 PM

Well, only the word avoid was supposed to be in italics... and Intrigued, I really am whom I am pretending to be, I'm just not pretending to be much!


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:43 PM

Something has just percolated: you mean I can be me from work and work will never know? Explain?


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:45 PM

I suppose I'd call that begging the question, "Intrigued." If a hateful (but registered) person posts a hateful message, I know who to hate.
But I'd be better off just ignoring the message, and I'm getting pretty good at doing that; so I don't particularly care whether a person registers, or not.
-Joe Offer, not particularly xenophobic or paranoid-


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GUEST,Barry Finn
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:46 PM

Hi Joe & thanks for coming to bat for the old timers. I've been here since Feb. 97 & can't get my membership to reup & that's ok but what would I do if I couldn't visit, I guess I have to under go an identity/personality crisis, have mercy. Barry


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:51 PM

Barry, your corrupt cookie is a constant source of dismay and embarrassment to me. It really bugs me that I haven't been able to talk you through fixing that dang thing. Dr. Jeri is willing to make a house call and fix your cookie. Just give her a call.
Besides, if she makes a house call, she may be able to solve the mystery of the Corrupted Cookie Caper, and help us figure out how to help other people.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Greg F.
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:54 PM

Mrrzy-

Depends on what sort of logging/tracking/archiving software "work" has installed; some of it can be pretty damned devious, & its getting more invasive all the time. Just deleting the "history" and "cookie" files in the browser software may not wipe the record of where you've been. So be careful. You may want to check http://www.privacy.org for more info.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 09:12 PM

I'd say that if your employer has a policy that forbids recreational Web surfing, they most likely have ways of detecting that you're doing it -and I'd suggest that you might be wise to follow the rules. Cookies aren't the only way you can be found out.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: bbelle
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 09:13 PM

If you are suggesting that "MEMBERS ONLY" will stop the flamers, it won't. Even though they most often have "Guest" in front of whatever name they are using, they could just as easily sign up for membership, with fictitious information.

There are wonderful people in the world, to whom the words "MEMBERS ONLY" would be a very good reason for them not to join. I would hate to see us miss out on some of the people.

This sounds like I live in the Emerald City, but I appreciate the premise, upon which the mudcat was founded. Any deviation means that the flamer(s) have won.

moonchild


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: DougR
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 09:17 PM

Kendall: I'd know. :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GUEST,Snanderbatch
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 09:41 PM

Would you, now?


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 09:53 PM

See, now he can't even get the snatch part right. OK everybody, let's all say a few words over "Edgar Cayce."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 09:59 PM

Yes, you probably would Doug. I never learned to be devious, and, it's too late to learn. Been meaning to ask your opinion on the gas price situation. I think the Republicans are behind the rise in price so it will help defeat the Democrats in the fall. There is no other issue for them, so, they created this one. You disagreed, saying it was the fault of the government regulations on clean air that caused it. Ok, so, why is the price of natural gas, and heating oil going to be double this winter?


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GUEST,Edgar Cayce
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 09:59 PM

O salutifera vulnera domini nostri catspawti saluete in patris omnipotentia qui vos dedit. saluete in filij sapiencia qui in uobis sustinuit saluete in sancti spiritus clemencia qui in uobis nostre redempcionis opus perfecit. Amen


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Amergin
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 09:59 PM

Uh, you go ahead, Spaw...


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 10:16 PM

Folks - At least at the moment I have some very simple reasons to not sign up, reasons that don't apply to anything concerning Mudcat or any of its members or guests. On the other hand the reasons that make me post messages here indeed do apply to things and people like these.

What we/you (?) are doing here is public, regardless of any membership. I'm aware of that. If anybody objects to things I'm saying or only feels bored by them or by the fact that I'm saying them in public he may tell me ALSO IN PUBLIC. If so, simply do and I won't disturb any longer. (In the meantime I'm relying on Sir kendallot to give me a downstroke when I'm in danger of behaving wrong.)

May I add some very personal opinion?

It seems to me that every time people become afraid of something they first try to control it by introducing regulations (with the illusion that once there is a law it MUST be obeyed) instead of simply facing it (knowing and thus not having to face the fact that laws NEED NOT be obeyed as long as there is no 'police' to look after them).

What is happening at Mudcat is one of the very (much too) few examples that it IS possible to control things without 'orders from above'. Introducing any restrictions for posting messages would mean that you give away (deceive) one of the very few chances to really prove that knowing our personal responsibility to what we are doing and acting upon it is at least as good as submitting to some 'Obrigkeit' (german word, literally translates to 'abovity') and have them do it for us (that's impossible, don't blame the poor chaps for not managing it).

Thank you

Joerg


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 10:35 PM

Personally, I want to be a member of that band, Barry and the Corrupt Cookies ...

WW


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GUEST,Barry Finn
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 10:46 PM

Wyo Woman you flatter me, no matter where we try to play they just won't let us in. I was thinking I'd change the name to "Blind Dew Drop & the No Tones".


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 10:48 PM

I'm personally very worried about the thickness and flaking of my toenails and the complete demise of Kendall's little buddy Edgar Cayce, for there is no joy in Mudcatville when little Cayce has struck out.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 12:39 AM

Ah, Jaysus, we have been here before, but ya know? At least if the flamers had to have a membership, NO DUES, still FREE, we could send them some private messages and tell them what arseholes they are without having so much of it in the threads, no matter how many names they post under.

As far as people who just visit and want to post, I cannot believe i am saying this, but maybe there needs to be a separate forum for poeple willing to take an identity and one for Guests just dropping by, that PermaMembers could cross over to, in order to help out? I dunno, just thinking out loud.

What has been going on is a bunch of shit and real people have been getting really hurt and that, to me, is NOT what the Mudcat is all about.

kat


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: DougR
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 12:51 AM

Kendall, my friend, it is because we have fallen behind on producing our own energy needs. I don't know that either political party can be blamed for that, and sometimes I think we become far too pre-occupied with pointing fingers. I don't know who is to blame. I'm not going to point my finger, because I just don't know. Probably there is enough blame to go around.

DougR


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 12:58 AM

DougR.

Perhaps you could show us the advantages of membership, and take your personal quarrel with kendall to your famous Personal Messages.

Undecided


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: PoohBear
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 01:28 AM

just my 2 cents worth as a new member. everyone has a degree of anonymity on this site. everyon has a degree of responsibility TO the site and everyone who comes here. Ignore the ugly, embrace the wonderful and "if you can't say anything nice, maybe you shouldn't say it at all"

Cheers!

PoohBear


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 04:46 AM

Any changes Max may make will not solve the problem. For WE ARE the problem.

So many good folk have said this in so many different ways………. The answer to this problem is very simple but maybe the fact that it is SO simple is the reason why, it is has been so difficult to actually implement?

Possibly also is the fact that the example set by some folk, being so desperate to display their quick wit, that they don't care who is feeding them the line? Or what the long term consequences of their actions may be for every contributor?

Please don't feed the animals………….. These animals bite.

If you do not feed the animals……………. They will not bite ANYONE and will go away.

With apologies to all non-human animals.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GUEST,JulieF
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 06:17 AM

I think that you would get fewer people who pass through staying if you have to be a member to post. I'm another person who is a member at home and posts as guest from work. I did this initially just until I got used to being a member and tried to assess how much use I be on the Mudcat at work. The answer is quite a lot as if I am sat at my desk concentrating for a long period of time I just switch to the mudcat for a change of scene.

I think I am now ready to be a member at work - the question is Can I be the same member or do I have to be a different one? I can see lots of security reasons why I would have to be a different one.

Julie


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 10:24 AM

Julie, peolpe who use more than one computer are asked to use the same member details on all computers. As you have joined, your details are on the Mudcat system. What you need to do is reset your cookie on your work computer.

Jon


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 10:32 AM

At another website I post at, they changed it to members only to try to avoid all the flaming and trolling and impersonating that was going on. It didn't make a huge difference - people soon figured out they could open a hotmail account so that they could get a new identity. I myself have 4 - but I never use them nastily - just playing different roles.

In the end what happened is that the folks who had been around a while and hated the trolling started posting in long forgotten "basement" threads, so the trolls couldn't find them (the current one is over 6000 posts long). However the trolls did find them and accused them of being elitist.

I find it amazing how in a short space of time, an online community quickly develops groups who dislike eachother, and see others as *below* them - like a whole class structure. Fascinating.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: L R Mole
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 10:42 AM

Well, I don't mind bewaring the jubjub bird but I refuse to shun the frumious bandersnatch. One can, after all, get anything one wants at Alice's...uh...


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Mbo
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 10:47 AM

If kendall is the bandersnatch, then I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GUEST,Marymac, sans cookie
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 11:20 AM

Well, I'm with Joerg. I consider myself an anarchist, defined the way Utah Phillips says it: "an anarchist is someone who doesn't need a police officer to tell them what to do or not do." I don't believe more rules will help solve us these problems.

Once, at a former worksite of mine, a woman on the night shift was picked up by her male partner, who then battered her because he suspected her of cheating on him at work. My boss immediately made a rule that no non-employees could enter the premises. I doubt that such a rule would have stopped the paranoid jerk mentioned above, and it had a generally negative impact on everyone concerned. Rules don't make us decent people-decency does!

Marymac


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 11:30 AM

Well, I see no need for the Members Only business. I certainly don't remember when I first came to Mudcat, but it was probably about a year after the original Digital Tradition left Xerox Parc.

I did a thread search and it only shows back to November of '98. I'm sure I was here before that posting. I had used the facilities for a while before Dale Rose dragged me into the Forum.

I certainly appreciate it, Dale. Though I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in here for which I do heartily condemn you also! 8-)

Anyway, back to the point of this message. Despite the "Guest" appendage at the name for those who don't wish to "join". It's still being a member of the community to post. By posting and responding, though you haven't formally joined, you HAVE in fact joined a community. We DO welcome all of it. Some of the messages we may NOT like. But the internet IS a democracy. If we didn't like it, we would not come back. I hope and believe strongly that many guests will eventually become "members", but in reality, it is just a delayed formality.

Come and enjoy what we have.

Like family we may have spats now and then but we do like each other AND yourselves, the guests.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 11:33 AM

As an example, we have here Guests helping Guests

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=23193


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Catrin
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 11:36 AM

Interesting this. I have no real experience of on-line communities and for some reason assumed that you had to become a member before you could post or do anything. So I joined and then found my way around (only last week and I'm already addicted!). I do think it's so easy to join that it probably doesn't really make any difference.

Catrin


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Peter T.
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 11:39 AM

Gee I didn't know I was that early! The amount of time I have wasted here is even more staggering than I thought! (joke)

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 01:15 PM

I didn't know we had a membership number as well as being members. I wonder what mine is. I wonder who's got 666...

It's been said before, but it's still true - making things more formal wouldn't stop anythi g that we'd sooner be without, and it woulsd probably stop some things we don't want to be without. So it sholdn't happen, and it won't happen.

Rule of thumb is, if someone doesn't wish to join, that normally means they don't want a reply, so don't reply to anything they say. They're writing graffiti. Sometimes you might read some graffiti, and it's interesting or whatever. Fine. But yoiu don't go treating it as something to reply to or quarrel with. Freedom to be anonynous is freedom to be invisible. If you're invisible you don't get seen.

And if we stick to that (and as The Shambles points out, it can be tempting to rise to the bait), most of these troubles will just melt away.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 01:18 PM

666!!!!!! I win

Is there a word for it?…. To describe that process when a change to a rule or law is called for and introduced, to address a problem and succeeds in creating an unforeseen and a possibly bigger one?

I am thinking of things like the guest prefix and rule changes in sport. A good example is the offside law in football. It was introduced to prevent the ball being lobbed on to the head of a forward. It was thought that this would improve the game. It has ended up being used as a defensive ploy and now very much to the detriment of the game.

I am reluctant to criticise the guest prefix too much, because Max was really responding to our calls that he do something. It did indeed solve one problem but has left a very confusing legacy.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Bert
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 01:20 PM

Wasted! WASTED!!! I'm glad you qualified that as a joke Peter;-)


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GUEST,I guess
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 02:57 PM

Membership didn't work for me. One day it suddenly disappeared. Since then I've been merely a guest. Thats all right though. If I was still a member I'd probably get angrier at the truly disturbed idiots who have nothing better to do than try to tear this apart. Can you imagine what there personal lives must be like? Scary. Guest status will do.

g


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: WillH
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 03:21 PM

I don't think that there is any way to get away away from the negative stuff. People say what they are going to say on the internet, just as they do live and in-person.

And also, some people will be upset by something that others might find amusing, and one person might get upset where the next one doesn't even know what was said.

The last thing is that even though they complain, people read and post to the threads that have gotten very heated.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Dee45
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 03:28 PM

I've lurked on this Forum for a considerable time before invoking membership.

I came across this in another thread today.

I think it should be considered Required Reading for all flamers on this Forum.

I was touched by it.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 03:32 PM

Agreed, Rawhide, thanks for linking into this one.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Mudjack
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 04:02 PM

The idea of membership just plain sucks. The open and free wheeling Mudcat does not need the burden or new headaches. As long as we continue to share a common interest with opinions and songs, we should not resort to a formal membership status.
Let the crap spreaders do what they have to do, we can overcome the challenges. If we can't, then move on to a better place for a while and come back. The break has been good for me and coming back from time to time makes me realize just how great the Mudcat is. Especially how it survives the constant debates such as this one. Best of all I have learned that I don't have to answer and partake in every issue that hits the threads. Besides all that, it has afforded me the free time to practice my music. I still check it out every three or four days and have managed to keep my sanity. Official membership status would likely be a factor that would have me go elsewhere for my music information and palling around.
Sorry Praise, I just think it is a bad idea and not keeping with what Mudcat means to me.
Mudjack
AKA Jack Roberts


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 06:34 PM

Hi Rawhide. Jeez if it isn't embarrassing enough to have yer name floating around in three separate threads, now I'm being part of a "warning" to flamers!

Truth is I've never taken them seriously when they're anonymous. If I was 100% certain who it was that was getting on my case, I'm name them publicly in a heartbeat...and remind them that I'd be happy to debate any disagreement....publicly or privately.

Hey Guest, I guess, there are idiots everywhere...it's when they move next door we REALLY have to worry!

Rick


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Jeri
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 07:25 PM

I can't see Max going for this in his current lifetime. Not having to be a member has several advantages. There aren't duplicate memberships for people who use more than one computer, and/or they can use a work computer without sticking a cookie on it. People who lose their cookies or have problems can still read and post. People who just want to ask one question and not hang around can just pop in and pop out again without going through a lot of filling in of blanks. People can test the waters before diving in. The advantage to being a members only site would be that anonymous flamers would have to register...probably under more than one name.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 08:27 PM

Gaelic Football, like Hurling, doesn't have an offside rule. Much better game in many ways.

I can't see how the GUEST prefix has in fact caused any problems.Maybe it's made some of those existing a bit clearer. That's not necessarily a bad thing.

So far, yes, but no further.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 08:44 PM

Uh lookie here Mac........I've hurled a lot over the years and as long as I don't get it on my shoes or allow my head to fall into the bowl before I flush, I figure I ain't offsides. I didn't know about any rules for hurling, but if there are some, I figure those two I mentioned should be added.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 11:11 PM

Thank you, Marymac - this gives me hope that I'm not the only one. Good saying at the end, I'll try to memorize it for further use.

McGrath - sorry for having to tell you that your 'thumb rule' at least doesn't apply to me. I am interested in answers but only in a certain kind of them.

Let me explain:

What is happening here is happening ('sorry' for having to repeat) IN PUBLIC. That means that we are PUBLISHING things we are posting here. It's like having them printed in a newspaper and I consider it a very good thing that the medium we are using has facilitated publishing that much (ever tried to post your opinion in a real newspaper in order to reach somebody who might know an answer?). Everything that makes people call for rules in here is the fact that some other people have not yet realized that they are PUBLISHING what they are saying. In the world of real newspapers there is some freedom of press and not without any reason - but the press in question has meanwhile realized that they are not allowed to write everything...

So what I'm interested in are answers somebody dares to say in public as I do, nothing else. I am especially not interested in having to read (and maybe having to answer) 512 emails every day, some of them maybe only written to insult me.

Concerning the GUEST prefix:

I am not hurt by somebody accusing me to 'suffer from a rectalcranial inversion, i.e. my head is stuck up my ass and shit brown is all I can see'(LOL). But I AM hurt by being called 'Guest,Joerg'. Can anybody imagine, why?

Joerg


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 11:18 PM

For what it's worth-- Mudcat Cafe is NOT a democracy--it's pure anarchy. Establishing rules in an anarchy is a sort of self-propelling fallacy.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 11:21 PM

One thing that needs to be remembered is the speed at which we can reply and I have made posts in anger that I have subsequently regretted - kinda worse for me as I always post under my real name.

Jon


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 04:11 AM

I think the 'confused legacy' (or maybe the word is paranoia) to which I refer, is perfectly demonstrated in the link provided conveniently by our very Mudcat HMTL literate 'lurker', Rawhide.

For there we have a veritable 'nest' of guests. Which one if any, do you consider to be 'valid'?

Probably the one who's views are similar to your own but you pay your money and takes your choice?

In the post referred to, there are a lot of views that Mudcatter's would like to hear. Do you think that the poster really holds ANY of those views?

Touched is indeed the word…. I can think of others too……What do you think?


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 09:29 AM

By far the most GUESTs here are very nice persons contributing valuable questions and responses. I'd miss them if they'd have to stay out and it would be a stupid action to ignore them as a rule.
However, if you read a particularly nasty post with a personal attack and you look who has authored it, the probability is high it was a GUEST. These are the posts to ignore.
As for the flaming GUESTs, if I think they are outside flamers stopping over for a few posts they consider 'funny', I shrug them off. The flaming GUESTs that bother me much more are the ones with inside knowledge who obviously are Mudcatters using the GUEST anonymity for personal attacks on people they know more or less well. A rather mild word describing what I feel for them is: contempt.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 11:05 AM

I like to think of disappointing those "Nasty Flamers" when I purposely IGNORE their remarks.

I have found over the past 20 years of internetting, that to REALLY irritate those people who generate those nasty remarks, it's a simple as IGNORING them.

99% of the time, they are what are known as Trolls, since they are casting out to see what sort of response their message will bring in. The more response the better in their eyes.

Therefore if you respond to them in ANY way, they are vindicated in their eyes.

As Jon (I think) said earlier, Pause before you submit the message. You might just like yourself just that much.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 12:27 PM

Thank you dick for pointing out that neither the Internet, nor the Mudcat, is a democracy. And to Joerg, for pointing out that people can be nice and kind even if nobody is making it a rule that they be so, or policing their kindness levels. This is also an argument I have with organized religion, the idea that without a god or some gods you can't know right from wrong. I don't get that either. I post as Guest from work (we are a fairly techno firm so I don't have a cookie) but prefer to be called Mrr than Guest-Mrr, but am not offended if people who don't already know who I am (member name = Mrrzy) don't know that, people figure it out eventually. Or not. No biggie. However:

I know of at least one occasion where (I thought) I seriously offended someone, a member. I immediately sent a PM apologizing. My apology was rejected, but that's fine, it's the insulted party's perogative not to forgive anything considered unforgivable. I have no arguments with this member, and look forward to a day when they aren't upset with me anymore, but I'm not losing any sleep over it as I had not INTENDED to be offensive in the first place. I do MIND, of course, but that's life. (Of course, had I intended offense I still wouldn't be losing sleep, because then I'd be a jerk.)

On another occasion I received a PM from a member who thought they might have seriously offended ME, which they hadn't, and I told them so immediately. But I appreciated their NOT putting that apology into the thread as it would have upset its balance, and besides this was just between us. It is that kind of thing I wish we saw more of - personal apologies, rather than public, for personal transgressions, intended or imagined. [I agree with Praise's sentiment in her public apology, don't get me wrong, but that was a different kind of thing.] And I can't do that as Guest, I had to wait till I got home, leaving the offended party offended for longer than would have otherwise occurred. But that is MY choice, I'm the one too paranoid to join from work. I just hope that it wasn't that delay that made what I posted that one time so unforgivable.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 12:59 PM

Interesting thoughts on the apologies. I tend towards an apolology in a thread as if I have stepped out of line, the chances are that my post will have upset more than one person even if my remarks were addressed to a specific person.

The one thing I disagree with are the public apology threads. I suppose there might be an extreme case where such an action is appropriate but in most of the cases I have seen, they merely serve to make others aware of some trouble that has occurred in a thread that they hadn't read, or in one case, an incident that was of no real importance that occurred between say 6 people in an ICQ chat!

Jon


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 05:20 AM

refresh.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 05:30 AM

Better yet, let this silly thread die....
Hasn't this subject been beaten to death, or are our gladiators still itching for a fight?
-Joe Offer, bored-


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GUEST,the
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 07:41 AM

Keep in mind that we must experience, to the exact degree, all that we create, therefore, be very certain that what you bring into the lives of others will someday come knocking at your door.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 05:09 AM

I do not see anything silly in this thread, just a lot of good thoughts and comments.

Please don't bring it back to top if you do not share that view.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 08:57 AM

I have long been an advocate of an "open" forum for the Mudcat. In fact, I encourage vibrant discussion on any topic. If I don't want to read a thread, I simply don't open it.

However, I have become a Mudcat addict because of the many advantages it has over the Newsgroups. One of them being that in the past, people have for the most part avoided personal attacks, responded seriously to discussions on music and the issues of participating in folk music (either actively or passively), and kept spame and spurious attacks to a minimum. The real identities of People were/are anonomous, but people seemed to treat their Mudcat Personas with integrity. Lately, I feel that the guest debate and the people signing on with fake IDs to make statements that they don't wish associated with their Mudcat Personas has changed this. Some, have started to use the Guest veil to act in ways that they would not act in person, or if they could be associated with their statements.

Consequently, I have changed and would like to put my vote in for only allowing posts by registered Mudcatters. I'm sure Max could establish a secure system, so only the system administrators would have access to the e-mail addresses and names of registered members. I also feel strongly that there should be only one registration per e-mail address. This would not stop people from going to hotmail, or yahoo, and creating an e-mail address when they want too. However, if truly egregous statements were made, there would be a traceable path and they could be reported to those services by MAX.

While I believe in anonomity, I also feel that every adult should act as if they can be held accountable for their actions, and for serious infractions (threats, etc.) are held accountable for their actions.

So, MAX how about an experiment. Let's have posting only by registered members, and one registration per e-mail address for 1 month. Guests that wish to comment about the change could do so on the list serve that has been established for when Mudcat is down. People could still use different computers and accounts to access and post from. We could then see if this makes any difference, stifles discussion, or creates new problems for the Mudcat or it's adminstration.

Another options is simply to establish, and let everyone know that it has been established, a mechanism where the account and location is captured and stored in a database when each post is made. Isn't this possible based upon the site log that is reported of "hits" for the Mudcat web pages?

People would then be anonomous to the community but not to the administrators if it becomes necessary to trace who made a post.

JAB


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 09:23 AM

I think Max already has that last kind of trace available, JAB.

You have put the case very well and I am in total agreement with you. One month seems a reasonable amount of time to test it.

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: bbelle
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 09:59 AM

I vote "yea."

mc


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 10:26 AM

Guest Undecided, your question about the advantages of membership was a good one except McGrath had (with impressive foresight) already answered it. And, if DougR wants to poke a stick at Kendall (and I'm not sure he did, unless it was a rubber stick) why should it have to be by PM? I'm perfectly happy to be copied in.

Kat, you seem so pre-occupied by flamers that I bein to wonder how you would manage without them. I'm with Praise and Catspaw on this one. And Moonchild I thought you said your outburst in the Truth thread was to be a parting shot? Delighted you've decided to hang in. This forum remains a fantastic resource, if you just resist rising to the occasional unpleasantry.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Sean Belt
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 10:26 AM

I vote "nay". If I'd had to become a member to post the first time, I probably wouldn't have done so. Now that I am a member, I don't have a problem with being one. I say that allowing guests in is a good thing. It does raise some problems, but all in all, the problems here are nothing I haven't seen in other forums.

Besides, and I may be being naive here, I'm not sure that even registering people as members will stop the flames and trolls, etc. I mean, what are you going to do with them if you register and catch them? There's no legal recourse. And if there was, the expense of pursuing it would be prohibitive. You could ban them from the forum, but all they'd have to do is re-register using a different name and false email account.

I say that patience, a realistic view of the cyber-world, and adult behaviour will win the day before any attempts at legislation.

I'm just sayin' is all.
-Sean


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Jeri
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 11:19 AM

My feeling on this is that one should learn how to deal with impotent, wannabe "terrorists." We want Max to change the open nature of Mudcat, and perhaps limit new questions and prevent potential members from "testing the waters" because we're unable to deal with posts from one or two misguided children? We want Max to make the bad people go away? We keep replying to the jerks, and say there's something at the site that needs fixing? Not likely. If Max were to force people to become members in order to post, the brats would get free, disposable e-mail accounts and join. They'd get kicked out and join again with another account. Spammers and nuts in newsgroups do this all the time.

I posted this once a long time ago. It still is a fantasy of mine that one day, the threads people believe are worthless will be ignored because they are worthless, and will die. The "trolls," who's sole purpose is to focus attention on themselves and so disrupt normal activity, will become frustrated and hopefully go somewhere else. Even if they continued to post, they wouldn't take the place over like we allow them to do now. The only problem is the vast majority of us (and I realize that some in this thread are not in the majority) feel compelled to always get our friggin' 2 cents in! If the hundreds of people who post to newsgroups can ignore these yahoos, why can't we?

Forcing membership seems like an easy fix that won't work, and will create different problems. The root of the problem is not with the way Mudcat is set up, but the way we allow ourselves to be manipulated.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Amergin
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 11:35 AM

No. I like that anarchistic nature of the Mudcat. If we have Max close the forum, pretty soon other rules will follow...no foul language...no sexual references...hell without those there'd be no Catspaw.....

Closing the forum would also be end of the 'Cat as we know it....possibly even the end...period.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: DougR
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 11:49 AM

Fionn: I assure you, and all (including Kendall if he is not aware of it) that it was a very limber rubber stick. We have jibed each other from time to time over our different political beliefs. My remarks are intended as good fun only. I don't know Kendell, but feel to some degree that I do, because I have read his postings for over a year. I apologize for the thread creep, but felt that should be said.

As to membership, I wouldn't be opposed to it, but for reasons other than have been stated. I think a modest membership fee wouldn't be unreasonable simply to defray Max's cost for maintaining the site. Being totally dependent on contributions is a precarious position to be in. I do mean a modest fee, so that no one is excluded, including the Flamers. They might pay the fee just so the can get their jollies the way they seem to get it. The income would help the Cat though.

Can't afford it? The price of one or two Guinnesses in your local pub wouldn't be too much to ask for the information and (mostly) good fun available here at the Mudcat, would it?.

Just my opinion.

DougR


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Midchuck
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 12:02 PM

I go with Jeri. The problem isn't the "Guests" who are anal sphincters. It's the members who can't resist the temptation to answer them.

If they're ignored, they'll give up and do somewhere else where they can get attention. You'll always have a few, as new ones try for some attention, but it won't be enough to be a real nuisance.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: IvanB
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 12:02 PM

Jeri, I'm with you 100% on this. We have far so much curiosity and a tendency to add our comments to everything that comes along that we essentially build our own pyre. All the flamers have to do is light the match. I was amazed last week to see a thread named "Do not click on this thread," or something of that import, which constantly came floating up to the top of the thread list with an increasing number of posts. I don't know if enough of us can steel ourselves to just ignoring the flamers and trolls to discourage them sufficiently, but maybe THAT's the month's trial we should be talking about.


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 12:30 PM

I vote no and I remain convinced that it would be the death of the Mudcat that we all love.

One of the beauties of Mudcat is its openess and that "passers by" are generally welcomed, they do make some excellent posts and sometimes even return and much of this would be lost as many people like to feel comfortable here before deciding to register.

Security wise, I feel that short of major changes to the Mudcat system, such a proposal is more likely to put extra burdens on the administrators than to stop undesirable postings. It may stop the casual flamer but as we have seen recently, at least one of the flamers was a Mudcat regular and I suspect others are. Such people will merely look for the next way of cheating the system and a battle of wits is likely to happen and I would guess that it could cost a gtread amount both in time and money to stop a determined person.

Assuming that a closed system was devised, guidlines of what is acceptable would need to be drawn up and these rules would have to be enforced by Max. We are still faced with the question. Do we want an open public forum and accept that is going to involve the occasional idiot making nasty posts or do we want a closed moderated one? I am higly in favour of the former an therefore suggest that the fundamental problem is learning how to deal with the idiots rather than attempting to set rules and regulations for posting.

This forum was built on trust, probably 99% of people here are decent trustworhy people and its openness allows even a causal visitor to settle and make good friends - lets keep it that way.

Jon


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: rangeroger
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 02:01 PM

Just a question,
If this forum were to be restricted to members only, would Tom Paxton have been able to read the thread about him? Would he then have gone to the trouble to post a response through Mike Regenstreif?

rr


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: sophocleese
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 02:14 PM

No, I don't think membership only is a good idea. Trolls and flamers are part of the net just as people who stop in front of you in supermarket aisles are part of shopping; you just go round them. If you institute a mechanism for throwing out flamers and trolls do you also use it to toss out those who respond and encourage them?


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 04:45 PM

I've been reading through some of the "guest" threads. Jeri is quite right. The guest provovateurs know that by pushing certain buttons, they'll probably get a reaction. And a reaction is all they want. Ignore them and they'll likely move on.

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 06:12 PM

Just as a point of clarification. I never suggested that the forum be closed, only that you have to be a member (or have a name)to post. I don't think it would stop spammers, flamers, or trolls. All it would do is help identify the source.

All messages could still be read by all.

JAB


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Subject: RE: A suggestion? Time for Membership Only?
From: DougR
Date: 29 Jul 00 - 12:45 AM

One more time. I would be totally opposed to limiting postings to "members" if the reason for it was excluding others. If a simple fee structure were imposed to help offset Max's cost, I'd support it.

DougR


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